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SRQ DAILY Jul 29, 2021

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"Through the commercialization of these baskets, hundreds of families have been able to provide for their families and established school for the Wounaan children where they preserve their native language and their ancestral traditions."

- Diana Ramirez, CEO of Maco Made in Colombia Co.

[Politics]  Ruling Could Derail Insurance Rate Reductions
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

A court ruling means new solicitation regulations on insurance adjusters won’t be enforced. State Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, said that likely means savings the Legislature hoped to drive on insurance policies won’t be realized this year.

“It will not allow rate reductions we had planned for,” said Boyd, who sponsored legislation passed this year and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis at a ceremony in Sarasota. “The ruling will allow the same dishonest solicitations that have driven costs up.”

A federal judge this month shot down a portion the insurance reforms. The new law aimed to stop roofers from soliciting homeowners directly about sales. The concern has been that many roofers and third-party adjusters followed roof inspections by claiming roofs needed to be replaced instead of patched, which often led to court disputes with insurance companies.

Gate Force Roofing and Restoration challenged that restriction as a violation of free speech, claiming it stopped legitimate advertising based on the actions of a few bad actors. Judge Mark Walker agreed, ruling “there is a difference between targeting disfavored conduct or practices (contractors acting as public adjusters, exploiting consumers, filing fraudulent claims, etc.) and targeting anything that may lead to that conduct— including truthful information that a consumer may have storm damage, and that storm damage may be covered by insurance.”

Boyd hopes other portions of the law seeking to limit court costs still result in reducing losses for insurance carriers, which in turn should lead to lower rates. But almost surely, the Legislature will need to come back and pass further reforms, he said.

“The attorney fee revision will help,” Boyd said. “We will see what next steps we need to make as we must do away with the unscrupulous solicitations that put lots more money in their pockets than the homeowners with claims.”


Photo from Pixabay

[ShopTalk]  A Purchase with Purpose
Madison Mursch, madison@srqme.com

Along the hodgepodge streets of Gulf Gate there lies a cultural hidden gem, Maco Made in Colombia Co., where CEO Diana Ramirez sells a lively, eclectic collection of hand-crafted Colombian goods. Each artisanal good purchased promotes Colombian culture and ancestral craftsmanship traditions dedicated to sustainability, using production methods that aim to reduce poverty and the environmental impacts of mass-produced fashion. From bags, hats and jewelry to a wide assortment of decorative baskets, vases and planters, Ramirez personally imports these handmade Latin luxuries to improve Colombian artisans’ livelihood by extending their reach from across the globe.

Maco Made's procured home decor livens up a room with vibrancy, pops of color, intricate weaving and Colombian flair. In particular, the Werregue line of baskets come handwoven by the Wounaan indigenous community from Choco, on the outskirts of Bogota, in a biodiverse rainforest region. Using Werregue palm, an exclusive fiber only found in the Colombian Pacific, these fibers are then dyed with natural juices of fruits and Aloe Vera, resulting in an organic product produced in an eco-friendly way. The natural dyes create an intricate geometric pattern using deep reds, oranges, greens and black that, in many pieces, represent daily life scenes of the Wounaan people.

Through many visits to the South American country, Ramirez shares that the Wounaan people are sadly at risk of extinction due to internal displacement and violence by the armed conflict of the country. Human Rights reports suggest that hundreds of Wounaan families were forcibly displaced between 2016 and 2017 alone, due to fights between paramilitary groups trying to gain control of the region. But, Maco Made’s initiative continues to support and improve the economic conditions of such Wounaan families. "Through the commercialization of these baskets, hundreds of families have been able to provide for their families and established school for the Wounaan children where they preserve their native language and their ancestral traditions," says Ramirez. "The weaving tradition is passed on from generations of women." 

You can support these regions by purchasing their artful goods here, or in-store at Maco Made in Colombia Co., 6585 Gateway Ave., Sarasota. You can also browse and shop more pieces on Instagram, @macomadeincolombia.  

Photos courtesy of Maco Made.

[Nature Experience ]  Sensory Garden Open at Ag Museum

The Manatee County Agricultural Museum invites you to explore their new Sensory Garden, located in Palmetto Historical Park at 515-10th Ave. West, Palmetto. The garden is wheelchair accessible and visitors of all abilities are welcome. The plants are identified with signage as to whether they are a “see, touch, taste, listen, or smell” opportunity. 

[New Grant]  Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Receives Grant from Selby Foundation for Communications System

In order to help Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe implement the highest possible production standards, the William G. & Marie Selby Foundation has awarded a grant of $45,745 to purchase a state-of-the-art theatre communications system – a much-needed upgrade from WBTT’s previous one-way communication system. “Thanks to the funding from the Selby Foundation, we will be able to improve our artistic and production quality in the production of our professional theatre offerings as well as our community outreach and educational activities,” said Julie Leach, WBTT’s executive director. “The new communications system has already proved its value during our outdoor ‘Sistas in the Name of Soul’ shows this summer and recent indoor Stage of Discovery student production." 

[Art Program]  Van Wezel Foundation Highlights Philanthropy that Makes Artworks Anywhere Program Possible

With schools out for summer, the Van Wezel Foundation today highlighted a contribution made by the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation to support Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Artworks Anywhere. Artworks Anywhere is a free, live-streaming and on-demand video library of arts-focused learning activities available for teachers, educators, and families, that is available year-round and is updated with new content each week. 

Click here for more information.

[Job Opportunity ]  Myakka City Fire Control Looking for Commission Applicants to Fill Short Period

Myakka City Fire Control District, soon to merge with East Manatee Fire District, is accepting applications for two fire commission seats to serve in official capacities until the merger is completed on October 1. Applications are due August 6 and can be found online at www.mymanatee.org/advisory_boards 

[Recognition]  Manatee County Government Awarded the Triple Crown Medallion for Exceptional Financial Reporting

The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller and Manatee County Government recently earned a Triple Crown medallion from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). “The Budget Division and the Clerk’s Office work extremely hard to match the policy direction of the Board of County Commissioners with a budget that reflects these policies,” said Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse. “Their ability to disseminate this clearly to the Board and to the citizens of Manatee County are second to none. We are very proud of this much-deserved Triple Crown medallion achieved by both offices.” 

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Community Day School Announces Board as It Opens New Campus

Hershorin Schiff Community Day School has announced its 2021-2022 board of trustees, a committed group of leaders who continue to guide the school and ensure its success as it moves onto its new campus, located at 4335 Wilkinson Road. Joining the board this year are Lori Dorman, Esq., Rick Siegel, Fred Starling, and Melissa Walsh. 

Click here for more information.

[New Hire]  Visible Men Academy Welcomes Three New Board Directors

Visible Men Academy (VMA), founded in 2012 to provide boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment, recently welcomed three new board directors to the fold during its quarterly meeting on July 14, 2021. VMA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the additions of Betsy Noel Friedman, Janet Taylor MD, MPH, and Roberto Villanueva to its ranks. 

[In This Issue]  The Gardener's Life

With trees of green and maybe even red roses too, Culverhouse Community Garden presents a wonderful world for those who don't want to garden alone. 

Click here to read the full article in SRQ's July/August 2021 edition.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: InMotion Performance , July 29 – July 31

This year, The Sarasota Ballet has returned to an entirely in-person format for their sold-out, five-week Summer Intensive program, which started June 28th and culminates in four performances at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Fully booked, this represents the largest Summer Intensive participation on record at The Sarasota Ballet with over 120 students in attendance. The InMotion performances, which open July 29th and close July 31st, will feature extracts from beloved classical excerpts, as well as new works created specially for the students, including a world premiere by Resident Choreographer Ricardo Graziano. Tickets are available in two pricing tiers, $35 and $25, and are on sale now. Children's tickets are available through the Box Office for $10. Socially distanced seating is accessible in the Mezzanine and Balcony sections of the theater, and patrons who are not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to wear masks throughout these performances. For additional information, audience members can contact The Sarasota Ballet Box Office at 941-359-0099.

The Sarasota Ballet Summer Intensive , 5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Players Centre: Summer Minicamps , June 21 – July 30

The Players Studio (TPS), the education department of The Players Centre for Performing Arts, is proud to announce this year’s summer camps. TPS has six one-week minicamps perfect for ages 5 to 10 starting in June and running through the end of July. These camps focus on acting, dancing, and singing, all related to a theme. Each week there is a different, exciting topic for students to enjoy. Campers also create characters, make crafts, use their imagination and work with other students to present a short performance on the last day. Disney Fairytales from June 21-25: Life is a fairytale, and you are the main character. Learn how to craft the perfect fairytale story and perform numbers from Disney musicals. Marvel Heroes from June 28-July 2: Capes and masks are all part of this creative storytelling camp. Using the power of imagination students can create their own superhero that saves the world through dance, song and scenes. Pirates & Mermaids from July 5-9: Ahoy, matey. Students will have fun acting out scenes and songs from Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid, among others. Vampires & Zombies from July 12-16: Are you more of a zombie or more of a vampire? Learn stage makeup, design your own monsters, and dance to songs like Thriller and Time Warp. Under the Sea from July 19-23: Spend this week under the sea learning songs and dance from Finding Nemo, Moana and The Little Mermaid. Star Wars from July 26-30: Learn to use the Force through creative dramatics with basic stage combat techniques to stage an epic battle. (Includes a take-home practice light saber.) One-week minicamps are limited to 20 students and cost $160 for the whole week, this includes a t-shirt. Students should bring their own lunches. On Wednesday campers can purchase pizza and ice cream. More information will be available after registration. Before and after care are available, as well as financial assistance. Masks are required.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Beneath the Surface Exhibition , June 26 – July 30

A solo exhibition of abstract figurative paintings by William Swanson Inspired by the beauty of the coral reef will be open June 26-July 30. His passion for the beauty and mystery of the coral reef has led Bill Swanson to attempt to bring attention to its endangered ecosystem through his paintings. William started scuba diving in 1985 with a trip to Roatan, Honduras. It was not until 1998 that Swanson began studying painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His love of diving has remained, but due to the strenuousness of this sport, he limits his exploration to snorkeling to catch the beauty of underwater life. Memories of the beauty he saw while scuba diving and his continued concern for the underwater environment have been a constant theme in his large paintings. His works are featured in the window and inside the gallery during this solo exhibition. Swanson will be in the gallery for our MEET THE ARTIST event on two consecutive Saturdays, June 26 and July 3 from 10am to 3pm. 1367 Main St., Sarasota 

Art Uptown Gallery

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 2021 August Play Reading Festival , August 2 – August 16, 7pm

FST is presenting three staged readings of new work by members of its Playwright Collective, a select group of artists dedicated to developing new work for FST’s stages, in the 2021 August Play Reading Festival. After over a year of developing new plays virtually over Zoom and holding reading series online, this Festival will be FST’s first live, in-person New Play Development event since March 2020.

The three playwrights featured in this Festival—Thomas Gibbons, Kenneth Jones, and Jason Odell Williams—will each travel to Sarasota for one week of rehearsals and play development sessions with FST’s artistic staff, followed by a staged reading of each of their plays for live audiences. Professional actors from across the country will also fly to Sarasota to help bring these new works to life. After each reading, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback to the playwrights. These sessions are essential to the development and creation of new plays, giving playwrights direct access to artistic support as well as valuable audience feedback.

FST has played a role in the development of each of the featured plays. Last year, the theatre commissioned Jones to write Last Call at the Old Slave Quarters Lounge and Williams to write America In One Room. Gibbons has been working closely with FST’s artistic team to develop Steal Her Bones since its first draft.

The 2021 August Play Reading Festival will take place in FST’s Keating Theatre on August 2, 9, and 16 at 7PM each day. Subscription packages to see all three readings range from $28.50-48.00. Single tickets are $20 per-person for each reading. Subscription packages and single tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941-366-9000.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Together Again! Virtual Variety Show , July 31, 7-8:30pm

The countdown is on and the ALSO Youth Virtual Variety Show: Together Again is only days away!!! Mark your calendars right now and plan to join Joey Panek as your emcee as he guides you through an evening of top-rate entertainment, fabulous auction items, live guests, and a few more surprises.

The show may still be days away, but our ONLINE AUCTION IS OPEN RIGHT NOW with over 40 exciting items, and more are being added every day!!!! Items include travel packages, artwork from local artists, dinner at your favorite restaurants, themed baskets, and even a chance to win 4 premium tickets to see Randy Rainbow at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall complete with 4 sets of official Randy Rainbow Pink Glasses!!! The auction will close on the night of the show, so make sure to start bidding today!!

ALSO Youth, 501 5th Street East, Bradenton

[SOON]  BUSINESS: FSUshadow Summer 2021 Session , August 2 – August 4

Florida State University is looking for hosts for their one-day job shadowing program, FSUshadow, August 2-4. FSUshadow provides a unique way to build your brand on campus, give back to current students and recruit for hiring opportunities with your organization. The summer session will be hybrid, providing both: In-person shadowing: single-day job shadow experiences where student(s) travel to your location and Virtual shadowing: 2-3 hour brief yet impactful virtual shadowing opportunities showcasing your role, organization or work. FSUshadow had the greatest number of students in our program’s history during COVID and look forward to introducing more participants to the program this summer.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Suncoast Local Book Fair , August 2, 10am-3pm

The Suncoast Local Book Fair is an in-person event. No registration required. Bookstore1Sarasota, 12 South Palm Avenue. Monday, August 2nd 10 am. – 3 pm Suncoast Local Book Fair. Bookstore1Sarasota's celebration of local authors! 12 local authors are taking part in this event. Author’s genres include poetry, children, memoir, and self-help.Author biographies, book information and event schedule available here: https://www.sarasotabooks.com/local-author-book-fair2021.

Bookstore1Sarasota, 12 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Life's A Beach , June 5 – July 31, 7:30pm

Florida Studio Theatre (FST)’s resident improv team, FST Improv, returns to the Bowne’s Lab stage with one the troupe’s most popular shows, Life’s a Beach. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, FST Improv’s cast members create scenes and musical numbers that celebrate—and poke fun at—all things Sarasota. Beginning June 5, FST Improv will perform Life’s a Beach every Saturday at 7:30pm in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Doors open one hour before show time. A full food and drink menu is available for pre-show dining. Tickets are now on sale at 941-366-9000 or floridastudiotheatre.org. After performing for live, limited capacity audiences this spring in FST’s Mainstage Keating Theatre, FST Improv will now return to its home theatre, FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Lampooning and celebrating this piece of paradise loved by so many are FST Improv members Kevin Allen, Sarah Durham, Kyle Van Frank, and Will Luera. ​These quick-thinking performers will also be joined onstage by one of two musical improvisers, Sergei Glushonkov and Michelle Neal. From the annual snowbird migration and never-ending construction to pervasive roundabout confusion and elusive downtown parking, nothing is safe from a good-spirited tease.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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